Friday, April 27, 2007

New ace alert

As a commenter Charlie suggested, Shawn Hill is “of course” the new ace of this staff.

In fact, Hill’s numbers are so good – 2-2 with a 2.76 ERA, 20 K (only 8 BB) – he, at this point, doesn’t even deserve the quotation marks. He is the ace. Congratulations Shawn Hill!

Now don’t screw it up. Jason Bergmann isn’t that far behind.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Nats back at the bottom

Busy day!

I had to make changes to all the stuff I’m tracking. That’s all four of them!

  • The Nats lost
  • Nats are once again the most hapless team
  • Dmitri Young had an error
  • Cristian Guzman continues to contribute nothing

Don’t get me wrong: the Phillies have yet to distance themselves from haplessness. But they are winning – and with another game against the Nats and an upcoming series with the Marlins, the Phillies are clearly not the most hapless team. The Nats have regained that position.

I have the feeling that today is the last day I’ll be able to use the term “ace” and be speaking of John Patterson. If he pitches poorly tonight, that’s it. He’s out or contention for “ace.” As I mentioned earlier, Matt Chico isn’t in contention either. So who will it be?

Any ideas?

Monday, April 23, 2007

A little more clear

Matt Chico is totally out of the running for the title of “ace.” You can’t walk the opposing pitcher twice and have any shot at it.

A big Thank You to Dmitri Young for getting an error over the weekend. It allowed me to finally add another one to his total. And it gave me a little more confidence is leaving his error total on top of the page. I figure that he’ll have to go at least a week without an error for me to think about ignoring his errors again.

Sure, the Phillies have a higher winning percentage than the Nationals. So what? Considering how they are supposed to play, they will remain the most hapless team until they can put some distance between them and the Nats.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Time for changes?

When I refer to the “ace,” we all know who I’m talking about: John Patterson. The subtle disrespect of putting quotation marks around that word is lots of fun. But if the “ace” continues to pitch like he has, then we can no longer even call him an “ace.”

I’m going to give the “ace” one more shot. Also, any other starter gets another start to see if they can be called “ace” – or, perhaps, just ace. We shall see.

Furthermore, the inability of Dmitri Young to get more errors may force me to stop keeping track.

But I don’t feel disenfranchised. There is a worse team out there.

And I sleep like a baby knowing that Cristian Guzman continues to contribute nothing to this team.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Phillies are worse

Even if the Phillies beat the Nationals this afternoon, the Phillies will remain the most hapless team in baseball today.

With the Nationals winning last night, they have secured a sport as not the most hapless team until at least tomorrow. Congratulations, Nationals!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Not so 'hapless' anymore

I took a long nap and awoke to see the Nationals in the midst of a winning streak. I was too shocked to blog. With the loss last night, everything starts to make more sense.

Other thoughts:

  • Dmitri Young still sits on only 2 errors. I find this remarkable.
  • Who isn’t on the Matt Chico bandwagon?
  • Casto will shine… at some point. At this point, he needs to go down and get some at-bats.
  • Who doesn’t love Robert Fick?
  • Virginia Tech hats a very, very nice touch yesterday.
  • Nats welcome the *hapless Phillies.

* The first team this season to be labeled “hapless” were the Nats. Now, it’s clearly the Phillies. I think this is something I should keep my eye on.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Nats are mudders

OK, so no more predictions out of me. I was obviously wrong.

Did I think the Nationals were really going to win? Or did I think it was really going to rain a lot?

I like to think that the Nats are mudders (Or, if you prefer, mudlarks). You know, like horse racing. You see, under clear skies you know the Nats are overmatched. But if the rain is pouring down and the field is… well, muddy… then perhaps the talent gap between the Nats and the opponents is less vast.

I don’t know if this makes sense to you. But it makes complete sense to me.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Nats will not lose tonight!

Oh the hell with it… I’m making a prediction! The much-maligned Washington Nationals will win tonight…

… or the game will be rained out. That’s my prediction. To recap:

One of the following will happen:

  • Nats win
  • Game is postponed

What will not happen:

  • Atlanta Braves win

We need this guy

The Boston Red Sox picked up J.D. Durbin off the waiver wire. Durbin, who once dubbed himself the “Real Deal,” has been on three different teams since… well … three weeks ago. The Red Sox are now his most recent.

Durbin’s Myspace account seems to have been deleted. Even so, wouldn’t this guy be a perfect addition to the Nats roster? No… that’s too easy. But it got me thinking. Who the Nats really need to throw some pitches – and lighten up the clubhouse – is another “J.D.” That’s right, J.D. McNugent.

Nats have more errors than runs in loss

Matt Chico pitched better – which continues the promising trend of starters pitching better. Good sign! But the bats remain eerily silent.

More ominous is the play of Kory Casto. The young prospect is now riding the pine. Of course, at his age he has to play every day… so will the Nats send him down? Very possible.

Even more ominous is the errors. The Nats are having a hell of a time with the fundamentals of the game. Dmitri Young had his second error of the season, which is actually a positive. I mean, I thought he would have at least four by now.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Preview: The Atlanta series

Pretty much the only thing we need to look at about the upcoming series against the Braves is the pitching probables – which should probably ruin your day:

Today: Matt Chico (0-0, 13.50 ERA) v. Tim Hudson (0-0, 1.29)
Tomorrow: Jerome Williams (0-1, 6.00) v. Chuck James (1-0, 1.80)
The day after tomorrow: Jason Bergmann (0-1, 9.82) v. John Smoltz (1-0, 3.75)

Talk about a mismatch!

That is a great idea

Major League Baseball’s decision to move the Indians-Angels series to Milwaukee got me thinking…

Can Washington get in on some of this action?

The Indians and Angels are two exciting teams. Folks in Milwaukee already have an exciting home team. How unfair that folks in Milwaukee can see additional baseball games showcasing two exciting teams while inhaling Stadium Sauce-laden hotdogs.

At best this season, Nats fans will get to see one exciting team – the opposition.

Let’s just look at today’s matchups:


I could go on…

Point being, how great would it be for Nats fans to be able to head over to RFK tonight, plop down 10 bucks for lower-bowl general admission, and see two exciting teams? The answer: Pretty great.

Monday, April 9, 2007

How to improve the season, Part I

Just so you know how it all works, because they have the day off today, the Nats have zero chance of adding to the loss column. Cool.

So we know the losses will be plentiful. And because we must bide our time to the new stadium opening, the Nats have the opportunity this season to really make things exciting. You know, get fans in the seats later in the season when they’re 40 games back in the standings.

Here are some ideas:

Draft Pat Venditte
He’s the ambidextrous pitcher out of Creighton University. That’s right: He can throw the ball right-handed to one batter; then switch arms and throw left-handed to the next. The MLB draft is coming up in June. The Nats could pick him, sign him quickly, and get him in the bullpen immediately. I don’t care how Circus-ish it sounds. I would pay to see him pitch at RFK.

Trade for Loek Van Mil
The Minnesota Twins pitching prospect is 7-1. No, that’s not his record; it’s his height! Mil is a minor prospect for the Twins, so the Nats could probably land him easily. He could be in the starting rotation within weeks. He would be the tallest player to ever play in the Majors. And he could be that person in the Nats jersey.

Trade for Julio Franco
He is the oldest regular position player in Major League history. But that’s not all. Every time he pinch-runs, pinch-hits, gets a double, gets a triple, etc… it makes historians ask themselves, “Is he the oldest player to ever do that?” And the Nats could probably get him in a trade. Also, though doesn’t wear one, he is the last MLB player eligible to wear a batting helmet with no ear flaps.

Get Ripken
Cal Ripken… hell, Bill Ripken… just get any ol’ Ripken in a uniform will do. Come August, both the Nats and Orioles will have trouble filling the seats. Might as well steal a few fans from Baltimore by having a Ripken at RFK.

The first week


Typically, you win more games at home than on the road. So the opening home-stand bodes poorly for the Nationals. 1-6 is a bad start. 1-6 at home is even worse.

On the positive, the starting pitching at least is getting better. That’s not saying much… but the starters are going longer and giving up fewer runs. That’s positive.

On the negative, the bullpen was overused in the first week. What is probably the best part of the team could get worn down too soon.

I did make it to one game over the weekend. The announced attendance was over 16k. Really? I took a photo and will upload later. But it looked more like 6k than 16k…

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Arizona series

Between the exhilaration of a Nats win a few nights ago and the anticipation of going to my first Nats game tonight… I completely forgot to update the blog.

Since I last left you, the Nats have lost the first two games of the Arizona series. Here are some thoughts:

  • The artic freeze that has settled over the Washington area has adversely affected Ryan Zimmerman’s swing. He’s cooled, folks. Cooled.
  • Dmitri Young has had a hot bat. But more surprisingly, he still sits at just one error for the season.
  • Manny Acta is moving a couple of guys around the rotation. What the hell for? No need to re-arrange the deckchairs on this Titanic.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Nationals win!

What’s this talk about a Curly W in the books? Indeed, a Curly W was put in the books.

After yet another horrific performance from a starting pitcher, the bullpen – the more stable part of this team – shut down the Marlins.

The Nats offense rattled off 16 hits, including a 3-run homer by Ryan Church.

Defensively, the Nats had two errors; none of which was by Dmitri Young.

I don’t know how many of the announced 18k fans stuck around, but Nats fans got an exciting victory. So I’ll give that to ‘em.

It gets worse

It’s not just bad pitching. It’s not just losing. It’s playing the game with an excruciatingly disastrous amount of ineptness.

The No. 2 starter, Shawn Hill, did better than the “ace.” But that’s not saying much. Hill went 5 innings, giving up 5 runs (4 earned). The bullpen comes behind him, pitches 4 innings, giving up 4 earned runs. It wasn’t a save opportunity, but still, Cordero gives up 2 runs over one inning.

Other lowlights:

  • Dmitri Young finally gets his first error of the season.
  • Nats could only muster 5 hits.
  • Cristian Guzman has been put on the DL. (Actually, this could be considered a highlight, but there’s nothing else to highlight so I refuse – refuse – to create a “highlights” section today. Maybe some day.)

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

One bad start

Even I didn’t think it’d start out this bad. Let’s recap:

  • The “ace” went but 3 2/3, giving up 6 earned runs. ERA: 14.73
  • The bullpen couldn’t stop the bleeding (not that we thought they would).
  • Nook Logan gets hurt, ends up on DL.
  • Cristian Guzman gets hurt.

Oh, but there is good news:

  • Ryan Zimmerman hits the ball well.
  • Dimitri Young had zero errors.